Following a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin Wednesday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters at a press conference that U.S.-Russia relations are “at a low point.”
During remarks alongside Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Tillerson said that he and Putin “frankly discussed the current state of U.S.-Russia relations.”
“I expressed the view that the current state of U.S.-Russia relations is at a low point,” Tillerson said. “There is a low level of trust between our two countries. The world’s two foremost nuclear powers cannot have this kind of relationship.”
Tillerson says U.S., Russia have “low level of trust,” world’s “foremost nuclear powers cannot have this kind of relationship” pic.twitter.com/X7SYbiuqR2
— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 12, 2017
He said they also discussed “approaches to improving our channels of communication.”
“We had a lengthy exchange of views regarding the situation in Syria and shared perspectives on possible ways forward,” Tillerson said.
The United States has said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is responsible for a chemical weapons attack on his people that left dozens dead. Russia, which backs Assad’s regime, has claimed he is not responsible.
Trump said during an interview on Fox Business Network this week that “Putin is backing a person that’s truly an evil person” in his relationship with Assad.
“And I think it’s very bad for Russia. I think it’s very bad for mankind,” Trump said. “It’s very bad for this world.”
“I think aligning yourself with Assad is a big mistake because he’s a butcher, and I think it’s very bad for Russia,” he added.
CNBC reported that earlier Wednesday, Putin said that U.S.-Russia relations have “deteriorated” since President Donald Trump took office, according to a transcript of an interview published by the Kremlin.